Motherhood and Daughterhood

Motherhood is listening.
“Hold on one second. I’m stepping outside.” Unsure whether my teenage son could even hear me, I stepped out of my shared office. Switching quickly from professional- to mom-brain (Who am I kidding? My mom-brain has been on since I learned I was pregnant.), I searched for some place offering a stronger cell signal and a bit of privacy.

I then did something I wish I could say I’ve always done: I listened.

With great intention I created space for my son to unload the hard emotions he’d been carrying on his own, and I bit my tongue to avoid filling that space with my opinions and solutions. I made sure he knew my love for him would not change, regardless of what he said. And I measured carefully my words and tone, hoping they conveyed the message that I would always be a safe place for him to share anything on his mind. Above all, I assured him he was not alone, that together we would shoulder this burden—even if my presence and love were all I could contribute.

Motherhood is praying.
Some time later our phone call ended, but I didn’t move. The weight of my own hard emotions, ones I’d worked hard to push aside during that phone call, now pressed down upon me. My heart was heavy with worry and dread. And in that moment, I did something else I wish I could say I’ve always done: I turned all of my attention to my Father.

I did not pause first to compose myself. I did not use flowery language or declare I would follow His will. I didn’t thank Him in advance or even propose a self-serving bargain. No, I brought my Father my heart—my already-weary, silent protest-filled, very real heart. And I emptied it into His hands.

He then did just what He always does: He listened.

He gave me a safe space to unload my hard emotions. I knew I was seen and heard. I knew regardless of what I said, I was loved. And as the day progressed and Christian music played in my ears, I was reminded countless times that I am not alone; my Father is by my side always, ready to help me shoulder the burdens I’ve been asked to carry.

Motherhood is being a beloved daughter.
I remember years ago when I first began to understand my Father’s love for me. It was early in my faith journey, and I was participating in my first Bible study. My children were young then, but as I read about God’s love for His children—love that was fierce, unconditional, and never-ending—I was struck by the familiarity and relatability of it. I realized then that my love for my own children is actually a pale and imperfect reflection of God’s love for me. In this way, it was my personal experience of motherhood that helped me begin receiving my identity as God’s beloved daughter. 
But the beauty of God's design did not end there...

It has been many years since that life-changing revelation, and I’ve grown as both a mother and a daughter. But as I reflect on the similarities between my recent time in prayer and my phone call with my son—as I reflect on the love God always offers me and the love I tried to offer my son—I can see it clearly now: Not only has my motherhood impacted my daughterhood, but being God’s beloved daughter is helping me become a better mother.

Praying, as always, that God breathes life into these words.


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